Site: High Point, N.C. (Williard Stadium)
Score: North Carolina Central 11, High Point 5
W: Ryan Decker (1-1), L: Muhammed Eid (1-1)
Records: NCCU 2-7, HPU 5-4
Next HPU Event: Friday, Feb. 28 — vs. Ole Miss (LeClair Classic, Greenville, N.C.), Noon
HIGH POINT, N.C. – High Point University baseball was unable to recover from an early deficit, falling to North Carolina Central 11-5 on Tuesday (Feb. 25) evening in a rematch of last week’s game in Durham.
North Carolina Central struck early in the first inning with a two-out single and a double to left-center that plated the first two runs of the evening. The Panthers responded in the top of the first when Joe Johnson hit an opposite-field double that put two runners in scoring position before Travis Holt scored from third on a wild pitch to cut the deficit in half for HPU.
NCCU took advantage of a two-out infield pop fly that got lost in the lights to bring around two more runs in the top of the second, and then tacked on another four runs in the third inning to extend its lead to 8-1.
The Eagles added three more in the top of the sixth inning before HPU got back on the scoreboard in the bottom half with three of its own. After making a highlight reel behind-the-back catch in the top half of the inning, Sam Zayicek followed that up with a three-run home run to right field, cutting the deficit to 11-4.
HPU continued to claw away at the NCCU lead in the bottom of the seventh when a run from Brady Pearre scored from third after Johnson got caught in a rundown at first and evaded being tagged long enough to allow Pearre to cross the plate.
High Point travels to Greenville, N.C. this weekend for the prestigious Keith LeClair Classic, hosted by East Carolina. HPU will play Ole Miss on Friday (Feb. 28), Indiana on Saturday (Feb. 29), and then wrap up the event with a game against the host Pirates on Sunday (March 1).